WEDNESDAY EDITION: HRO in Salem, NH is doing a
blockbuster business since the virus hit, although some concerns
about people without a proper ham license purchasing the gear!
Coming soon to a band near you....A little music for you to
day off...It might be time to start thinking about a
survival garden...Here are a few ways to get your mind off
stressful things....If you take
Zantac for heartburn, don't!...
New flag for China
World Amateur Radio Day on April 18 Celebrates 95th
Anniversary of the IARU
Saturday, April 18, is World Amateur Radio Day (WARD), this year
marking the 95th anniversary of the International Amateur
Radio Union (IARU).
Around the world, amateur radio special event stations —
most sponsored by IARU member-societies — will mark the
event on the air, starting on April 18 at 0000 UTC and
continuing until April 19, at 0000, honing skills and
capabilities while enjoying global friendship with other
amateurs worldwide. The theme for WARD is “Celebrating
Amateur Radio’s Contribution to Society.” IARU President Tim
Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA, notes that the COVID-19 pandemic casts
the event in a different light than in years past.
“A few short weeks ago, many of us could not
imagine the levels of isolation that we are now dealing with
and the sacrifices of many on the front lines of the
pandemic,” Ellam said. “As we have done in past challenges
to our society, amateur radio will play a key part in
keeping people connected and assisting those who need
Ellam said he’s coming off his own 14-day isolation
after returning from overseas. “I am touched by the kindness
of strangers who assisted me when I was unable to leave my
house,” he said. “It strikes me amateur radio operators, who
give so much during these times of crisis are not limited to
assisting over the air. Amateurs are true volunteers, and I
would encourage everyone to assist in the community as they
are able to.”
On April 18, 1925, the IARU was formed in Paris, with
ARRL cofounder Hiram Percy Maxim, 1AW, in attendance. Radio
amateurs were the first to discover that shortwave
spectrum could support worldwide propagation, and in the
rush to use these shorter wavelengths, amateur radio found
itself “in grave danger of being pushed aside,” as IARU
history puts it. Two years later, at the International
Radiotelegraph Conference, amateur radio gained allocations
still recognized today — 160, 80, 40, 20, and 10 meters.
From an initial 25 countries, the IARU has grown to include
160 member-societies in three regions.
How to Participate
Get on the air. Create your own personal “event” to
talk about amateur radio. (To list your World Amateur
Radio Day event, contact IARU Secretary David
Check into the Echolink World Conference and IRLP
9251. The special event call sign will be W7W.
Look for and contact stations using the W7W call
Create and hold a special net on World Amateur Radio
Day to draw attention to the event and allow hams to
start talking about our hobby.
Spread the word. If you’re responsible for club
publicity, send a press release and do public relations
outreach to highlight the event.
Promote your personal World Amateur Radio Day
activity on social media by using the hashtag
#WorldAmateurRadioDay on Twitter
flyer that IARU provides in
publicizing the event, amateur radio, and your group or
World Amateur Radio Day is not a contest but an
opportunity to talk about the value of amateur radio to the
public and our fellow amateur colleagues. It is also a great
opportunity to talk about your club and amateur radio in
In this time of social isolation, amateur radio continues
to remain relevant in bringing people together. “Social
distancing” has long been a positive practice in the hobby
by bringing people together culturally through radio while
providing essential communication in the service of
“My wish for this World Amateur Radio Day is for
everyone to stay safe, follow the advice of medical
professionals and use amateur radio and your skills to help
us through this crisis,” Ellam said.
Coronavirus: International understanding and help
Germany's DARC reports in 2018 and 2019, Reinhard
Kühn, DK5LA, supported the Harbin Institute of
Technology in China with the EME system for the Chinese
Longjiang 2 moon mission
A translation of the DARC
The experiments of the mission were
conceived and implemented by radio amateurs. In China,
Wei Ming Chuan, BG2BHC, was responsible.
Media worldwide as well as Radio DARC and the CQ DL had
reported in detail.
A few days ago, Reinhard received
a call from Wei directly from China. The latter had
heard that the corona virus has now also arrived in Germany.
So he really wanted to hear Reinhard's voice in person to
inquire about his health.
Wei was obviously worried about Reinhard because he had
learned that the supply of protective masks in Germany is
currently limited. So he insisted on sending him some
protective masks. Reinhard was very happy to hear Wei’s
voice and receive protective masks from him.
Wei is currently doing as well as Reinhard. "Anyone who
claims that radio amateurs can only do technology will find
another example of a lived Ham-spirit," summarizes Ulrich
TUESDAY EDITION: Another sunny and warm day here on
the rock, hopefully Corona free....Manhattan
cathederal will serve as a coronavirus field hospital...How
metric system?....An interesting read and makes
The Future is Fragmented
Once upon a time, QST magazine had something close to a
monopoly when it came to amateur radio news, projects, product
reviews, and much more. That’s not to say there weren’t
alternative publications, but QST was clearly the 800-pound
gorilla on the block.Amateur radio was more homogeneous in those
days. When you got on the air you mostly operated SSB, CW, or
FM. You attended hamfests, handled traffic, and exchanged QSLs
in the mail. Morse code was a lingua franca that almost everyone
understood to one degree or another.As amateur radio has changed
over the years, so has the publishing industry. In
this month’s column, QST Editor Steve Ford, WB8IMY, explains how
ARRL’s publications are adapting to keep up.There was a time
when amateur radio was a quasi-fraternal community and the
content of QST reflected that community. Even as the hobby began
to diversify with increasing digital activity in the 1980s, the
com-munity remained united, especially in the way in which it
acquired information.And then came the internet.During the last
25 years, the internet has wreaked havoc across the media
landscape by fragmenting audiences into almost infinite numbers
of groups and subgroups. With content-filtering technology,
individuals can easily pick and choose what they want to see
according to their interests, no matter how narrow those
interests may be. Newspapers and magazines are struggling in
this envi-ronment, desperate to adapt to a world that changed
almost overnight. As a result, many are shrinking or going out
of business entirely.QST hasn’t been immune to these disruptive
forces, which is why we hired a media research company to
investigate how members, and non-members, really felt about the
magazine. To no one’s surprise, the vast majority of older hams
were still quite content with QST and gave it high marks. However,
younger hams — age 30 to 60 — were not happy. They felt the
technical material was over their heads and they could not
relate to the tradition-oriented tone the magazine seemed to
project. For example, they told us they found discussions of ham
history and vintage equipment boring and they were put off by
other aspects of QST that had been standard fare for decades.
I’ll always remember the barbed comment from one study
participant (age 41) who wrote concerning the “Silent Keys”
column: “Who puts lists of dead people in a maga-zine? Yeah,
that’s what I want in my mailbox every month!” The data sent a
clear message: Our audience was frag-menting, particularly
along generational lines. As we The Future is Fragmentedwatched
other publications scrambling to reposition them-selves, we
realized the ARRL media battleship needed to change course, and
quickly.The first result was the new On the Air magazine, which
debuted in January. I’m happy to say that On the Air has hit the
bullseye for the increasing number of amateurs who don’t find a
“home” in QST. The response has been overwhelmingly positive,
and I only regret we didn’t pub-lish it sooner .At the same
time, we launched two new podcasts: Eclec-tic Tech and On the
Air. Together with the weekly ARRL Audio News, these also appeal
to a younger audience that consumes podcasts voraciously,
although we’re noticing that Eclectic Tech and Audio News have a
grow-ing audience among older amateurs as well.Expect to see
even more focused media offerings from ARRL. We are considering
digital publications that will concentrate on specific
activities in the way we do now with the ARES E-Letter and
Contest Update. Speaking of digital publications, the weekly
ARRL Letter now has a circulation of more than 107,000. If it
continues to grow, it will someday rival QST as the most popular
ARRL publication.There is also the National Contest Journal and
QEX. By the time you read this, both magazines will be
avail-able in digital formats to all ARRL members.But what
becomes of QST? Rest assured the magazine is not going away. If
you are a veteran amateur, I believe you’ll find even more to
enjoy in the issues to come. Of course, QST will slowly evolve
as today’s veterans leave the ranks and a new crop replaces
them. The future is about increasing fragmentation and, as with
all media, QST will adapt.Steve Ford, WB8IMYEditorInsert A
Celebrating the 95th World Amateur Radio Day
With millions of Americans now isolated at home
because of the coronavirus pandemic, there is a renewed
interest in Amateur Radio, which allows “hams” to talk
with each other all over the world independent of
traditional communication systems.
On April 18, World Amateur Radio Day
will have special meaning as hundreds of thousands of
hams worldwide take to the airways to celebrate their
hobby, as well as to highlight the ability to
communicate using their own equipment without the need
to rely on cell phones or the Internet.
In this video Richard Bateman KD7BBC
provides an update on moves towards Online Exams in the USA
following the first successful all-online Technician Exam on
Many hams are already aware that a successful
fully remote online ham radio exam was administered on Mar 26,
2020; fewer know that the administering VE for that session is
also the owner of HamStudy.org or that we were using a system
which has been running for years.
This short statement is
my attempt at summarizing what is going on in this field; all
interested VECs are invited to use our system, but we ask that
VE teams wait until they hear from their VEC that the system is
available to them as there is still a lot of work to be done and
problems to be solved.
Watch Online US Ham Radio exams
coming soon -- please be patient!
MONDAY EDITION: Good morning, a sunny day on
the coastline. The next two weeks are supposed to be the worst
in our history, let's hope the social distancing strategy starts
to lower the death rate...While
we quarantine, the rich live large...A tiger
caught the virus?....
Coronavirus lockdowns have changed the
way Earth moves
A reduction in seismic noise because of changes in human
activity is a boon for geoscientists.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought chaos to lives and
economies around the world. But efforts to curb the spread of
the virus might mean that the planet itself is moving a little
less. Researchers who study Earth’s movement are reporting a
drop in seismic noise — the hum of vibrations in the planet’s
crust — that could be the result of transport networks and other
human activities being shut down. They say this could allow
detectors to spot smaller earthquakes and boost efforts to
monitor volcanic activity and other seismic events.
A noise reduction of this magnitude is usually only
experienced briefly around Christmas, says Thomas Lecocq, a
seismologist the Royal Observatory of Belgium in Brussels, where
the drop has been observed.
Just as natural events such as earthquakes cause Earth’s
crust to move, so do vibrations caused by moving vehicles and
industrial machinery. And although the effects from individual
sources might be small, together they produce background noise,
which reduces seismologists’ ability to detect other signals
occurring at the same frequency.
Data from a seismometer at the observatory show that measures
to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Brussels caused human-induced
seismic noise to fall by about one-third, says Lecocq. The
measures included closing schools, restaurants and other public
venues from 14 March, and banning all non-essential travel from
18 March (see ‘Seismic noise’).
The current drop has boosted the sensitivity of the
observatory’s equipment, improving its ability to detect waves
in the same high frequency range as the noise. The facility’s
surface seismometer is now almost as sensitive to small quakes
and quarry blasts as a counterpart detector buried in a
100-metre borehole, he adds. “This is really getting quiet now
If lockdowns continue in the coming months, city-based
detectors around the world might be better than usual at
detecting the locations of earthquake aftershocks, says Andy
Frassetto, a seismologist at the Incorporated Research
Institutions for Seismology in Washington DC. “You’ll get a
signal with less noise on top, allowing you to squeeze a little
more information out of those events,” he says.
The fall in noise could also benefit seismologists who use
naturally occurring background vibrations, such as those from
crashing ocean waves, to probe Earth’s crust. Because volcanic
activity and changing water tables affect how fast these natural
waves travel, scientists can study these events by monitoring
how long it takes a wave to reach a given detector. A fall in
human-induced noise could boost the sensitivity of detectors to
natural waves at similar frequencies, says Lecocq, whose team
plans to begin testing this. “There’s a big chance indeed it
could lead to better measurements,” he says.
Belgian seismologists are not the only ones to notice the
effects of lockdown. Celeste Labedz, a graduate student in
geophysics at the California Institute of Technology in
tweeted that a similar fall in noise had been picked up by a
station in Los Angeles. “The drop is seriously wild,” she said.
However, not all seismic monitoring stations will see an
effect as pronounced as the one observed in Brussels, says Emily
Wolin, a geologist at the US Geological Survey in Albuquerque,
New Mexico. Many stations are purposefully located in remote
areas or deep boreholes to avoid human noise. These should see a
smaller decrease, or no change at all, in the level of
high-frequency noise they record, she says.
Amateur Radio provides world-wide Covid19 information and
When the Covid19 virus outbreak started spreading rapidly
from China to the rest of the world, I started to look into ways
of how amateur radio could render a useful service to Africa but
also to the rest of the Globe during this pandemic.
I looked at many options which included HF Radio, Echolink,
AREDN etc. The aim was not to communicate with only radio
amateurs but to the Government of South Africa, Department of
Health, General Public and all other Roll Players.
It was clear from the onset that radio communications would
limited the amount of people that would have access to vital and
life saving information. Amateur Radio had to play another and
new roll during this pandemic and it must be a vital one. I
decided to use social media, aka Twitter. It had to reflect the
fact that the Twitter account and information posted was
provided by Amateur Radio. I could not sit and watch and “play”
radio while people were dying. Amateur Radio had to play its
part in curbing and lower the curve to prevent the virus from
spreading so rapidly and to keep the people informed about the
I created the account Covid-19 South Africa @CovidAfrica
https://twitter.com/CovidAfrica and the rest is history.
Amateur Radio once more can show that it can render a useful non
radio service during Disasters and even Pandemics.
We need to adapt to changing circumstances and if need be use
social media to promote amateur radio but also to render a
useful service. Some might not agree but a poll currently
running showed that Covid-19 South Africa @CovidAfrica is
providing a useful service.
If you feel that this is not a worthwhile effort or not
amateur radio related, then you welcome to omit it. I just
thought that Amateur Radio must and can render a useful service
during this pandemic.
Preppers and Ham Radio Operators Not so Crazy in the Age of
As the world is swept up into 24/7 coronavirus hysteria,
people who once mocked preppers and ham radio operators are
starting to admit it may not have been the best idea to make fun
of these people who now seem like modern-day prophets.
Just a few short months ago, the world ridiculed anyone who
dared to prepare for bad times or have a stockpile of food and
supplies for their family. Today, those same people they wish
they listened – all the while screaming about hoarders and how
unfair it is that they can’t find the food they need at the
What they still don’t understand is this crisis had nothing
to do with preppers; preppers were prepared years ago. 99.9999%
of the people standing in four-hour-long lines at Walmart and
Costco are not Preppers, and you certainly didn’t see any of
them pushing out carts full of toilet paper.
The current hoarding of idiotic things like 10 years’ worth
of toilet paper, in large part, is being done by panicked,
clueless millennials who once taunted preppers. These same
arrogant bastards are now scrambling to figure out what it is
they need to survive without being able to run to the nearest
Starbucks Drive-Through – which we are seeing reports that in
many areas of the country have hour-long drive-through lines for
Starbucks coffee. Apparently, these morons have yet to discover
the good old fashion
So as we slowly descend into this dystopian, 1984-style
nightmare – that we believe is more hype, government control,
and hysteria than actual viral danger – the world is starting to
wake up to prepping and so-called “old technologies” that many
claimed whose time had passed, like Ham Radio.
Ham Radio gear is being bought, and in some cases hoarded
like never before, especially cheaply made Chinese radios like
the Baofeng. Many of these radios are being bought by people who
have no idea what they are really buying, and have been tricked
by internet marketers into believing these radios can do
everything under the sun.
We’ve been flooded with emails from people asking how to talk
to people in Wuhan on their Baofeng. WHAT?
I get it; people want information; but most of the people
buying these radios failed to understand the difference between
HF Radios and UHF/VHF radios. Hell, most have never even heard
of a repeater so it’s not a wonder they are frantically trying
to figure out why their Baofeng just gives them static.
The New Social Network?
Hell no, more like the original!
Over the last couple of weeks, we have seen numerous
mainstream media outlets writing idiotic articles on how ham
radio operators are creating “new social networks” called ham
nets where people “check-in”.
Unfortunately, 99% of the media is made up of millennial
morons who apparently can’t even do basic research, otherwise,
they would know we have been doing ham nets and what they call
“networking” 50+ years before Facebook, or hell even Myspace
(most of them don’t even know what that is).
In fact, we were creating our own packet stations and BBS
boards long before Facebook, Twitter, or even AOL Instant
Censorship in the edge of unlimited freedoms?
Some, not many, but some are also coming to the realization
that the internet they believed would give them access to
unlimited knowledge has not only made our younger generations
less prepared than any other time in history, but it has also
blocked them from the truth and replaced it with spoon feed
media-driven bullshit that millennials eat up like it’s God’s
The truth is, most independent websites have been bought up
by media conglomerates and 90% of what can now be found on
“search engines” like Google is sanitized, copy and paste stolen
garbage coming from a couple of dozen large media conglomerates
who have taken over the internet. The other stuff is deemed as
conspiracy sites, the dark web, or fake news that has been
pushed hundreds of pages deep into the search results or
outright banned from search engines and social media.
Welcome to the new world order!
So what about Ham Radio?
For those new to the hobby, there is a lot we can do, and
there is a lot that we can’t do. I’m not going to try to blow
smoke up your ass here.
No, you are (probably) not going to be able to hear the
police or secret military communications. Most of this stuff has
moved to trucked systems (which you may hear with a
good scanner) but even most of that has now been encrypted
and you will never be able to hear that on any commercial radio.
That being said, you can still hear a lot of really weird and
interesting stuff including foreign government and military
broadcasts, foreign shortwave radio broadcasts, pirate radios,
some emergency and government coms, and things like numbers
stations and stuff that you may never figure out what you are
But I do want to put a caveat here – THAT IS NOT HAM RADIO!
You can hear these types of broadcasts on some ham radios, but
it is not officially ham radio. We can hear these things on our
radios, because many HF radios and even VHF/UHF radios still
have the ability to receive outside of the traditional ham
Listen, Ham Radio Operators have actual skills. The Radios
you can buy commercials are only one small part of the hobby.
Many stop at that, and there is nothing wrong with that. But
others take it to places that truly do seem a bit magical.
It’s not like signing up for a Facebook account and
pretending you know about technology. As you dig deeper into the
hobby, you will be amazed by what you can do and how you can
literally build systems to send both digital and voice
communications around the world with little more than a 9-volt
battery, a radio about the size of an Altoids tin, and a couple
of wires for an antenna. Most of the people who built the
internet, WiFI Networks, and Cell Networks were Ham Radio
Operators. It is radio technology that is responsible for all of
it – most people never think about that as they browse the
internet from their phone!
WEEKEND EDITION: We are still Corona free
here, 7 test positive in our town of 6000 residents. One dead
and one 70 year old man just left the hospital after 5
days and seems ok....Our 2 meter repeater has been a lot busier
than normal, I suppose more people are home in quarantine and
other are getting stir crazy and want to talk, good news...The
Icom 9700 has a new firmware upgrade ....A feel
good story...A fire at Southwest
Florida International Airport in a grassy area southeast of
Terminal Access Road continued to burn hours after its start
Sons of Stupidity motorcycle gang arrive....
YouTube 'Lockdown Morse' Course
If anyone is interested in learning or improving their Morse,
I'll be starting a new course on YouTube from Monday 13th April
- Lockdown Morse.
Please subscribe to the YouTube channel here if it's
something you're interested in - and feel free to share this
with anyone you think might enjoy it:
Foundations of Amateur Radio
Breaking the isolation one QSO at a time.
In our hobby we regularly talk about its purpose, its need,
its usefulness and other potentially abstract notions. Often
there's a nod towards science, learning, self-discovery,
challenge, emergency service or some other higher order concept.
I know I've discussed many of those over the years and
encouraged you to find what the hobby means to you.
There is one aspect of our hobby that's pretty much left
unsaid. It's left unsaid because it's obvious, since radio is
about communication at its heart, the idea that we use our
radios for communication is ingrained and unheralded. You might
find a few new amateurs talking about how they made their first
contact on the local repeater, or how they want to use the hobby
to stay in touch when they're out and about.
It occurred to me the other day that much of the world is
subject to travel restrictions and social or physical distancing
requirements. There's places that are in total lock-down and
whilst there are strong recommendations for people over 70 to
stay completely isolated, that's not yet a requirement where I
live. It might come to that, but at the moment the COVID-19
pandemic is changing habits and communities on an hourly basis.
Technology is often sought as a solution. There's plenty of
video-conferences being held. Local amateur clubs are going
online to stay in touch with members while face-to-face meetings
are off the menu. Then there's the ongoing access to social
media, blogs, discussion groups, mailing lists and the like.
There are a few brave radio clubs using something a little
less technical. The radio. Shock, horror, imagine that, an
amateur radio club using an actual, you know radio, to talk to
each other. I must admit that communication via radio, as
obvious as that sounds isn't always the first thing that comes
to mind. I've lost count of the number of times when at the
local club one member stood outside yelling back into the shack
which way the rotator on the Yagi was pointing whilst
adjustments were being made - turns out that the rotator was
spinning on the mast in the wind. Took a concerted effort,
seriously, to actually turn on a hand-held radio and talk to
each other, like civilised people.
On the weekend during F-troop, a weekly net for new and
returning amateurs, I also asked how people were doing given the
social isolation that is pervasive.
I also started toying with the idea of running an F-troop
every day, then I scaled it back to every Wednesday and Saturday
and then it occurred to me that the power to host a net is in
the thumb of any amateur clicking their push to talk button and
I finally settled on continuing the normal activity of hosting
F-troop on Saturday morning at 00:00 UTC for an hour.
I understand that in a technically connected world with cheap
internet and fully functional gadgets like smart phones, the
idea of going back to radio might seem like a step backwards,
but I'd like to point out that we're radio amateurs. That's like
being a chef and ordering take-out when you have a fully stocked
If you're experienced in this hobby you'll know that nobody
needs to grant you permission to host a net, but if you're new
here you might not. So, to you I say: "You don't need permission
to host a net, so get to it."
There are some things I've learnt since starting F-troop
nearly a decade ago. Start small. Depending on the skill-level
of the participants, choose an option for hosting it. F-troop is
run with a single net-controller, often that's me, and the role
of net-control directs who's next to talk. If you're just
playing around, the tried and true version is a round-robin net.
You'll need to pay attention a little better because you'll need
to know who comes after you so you can hand the call to them.
There are also variations on this, but again, start small.
I track contacts in a spreadsheet, but a piece of paper is
just fine. Writing down all the stations you hear is a great
idea, since it helps you keep track of who's said what. You can
add information as it comes to hand. If the net is on HF you
might record the signal strength you see when you're listening
to each station, as well as the name and location or QTH.
Pro-Tip, use a new piece of paper for each net and put a date
on it. Future you will love you for it.
My point is that there should be absolutely no impediment to
getting on air, making noise and breaking isolation from the
comfort of your own shack.
I'm Onno VK6FLAB
A little project for you...coat hangers
Past ARRL Treasurer Jim McCobb, K1LU - SK
Past ARRL Treasurer James E. "Jim" McCobb, Jr., K1LU
(ex-K1LLU, W1LLU), of West Newbury, Massachusetts, died on April
An ARRL Life Member, he was 77. McCobb served as ARRL
Treasurer, a volunteer post, for nearly 32 years, from 1980
until 2012, when he was succeeded by current ARRL Treasurer Rick
Niswander, K7GM. An active DXer and contester, McCobb was active
from Belize, where he held the call sign V31JR. McCobb was a US
Air Force veteran and spent most of his professional career as a
First licensed at age 16, McCobb was very active on HF --
especially on 40, 20, and 17 meters, primarily on SSB, although
he operated CW during contests. He also enjoyed listening to
amateur and shortwave bands, DXing, ragchewing, contesting, and
"doing just about any kind of antenna work," he said in his
QRZ.com profile. His other hobbies included Alpine skiing,
listening to music, and collecting stereo equipment from the
REF makes magazine available for Free download
France's national amateur radio society REF
has made the April edition of its magazine Radio REF available
as a free PDF for everyone to download
In his editorial
the President of the French Transmitters Network (REF),
Jean-Louis Truquet F5DJL, says:
2020 issue of our journal is in free electronic form for
everyone on our website, we hope that reading it will enhance
your isolation and encourage those who know us less to discover
the life of the association and of our community and participate
Thousands apply to join NASA’s Artemis Generation,
More than 12,000 people have applied to join
NASA’s next class of astronauts, demonstrating strong national
interest to take part in America’s plans to explore the Moon and
take humanity’s next giant leap – human missions to Mars.
Applications were received from every U.S. state, the
District of Columbia, and four U.S. territories. However, the
process is just beginning for NASA’s Astronaut Selection Board,
which will assess the applicants’ qualifications and invite the
most qualified candidates to the agency’s Johnson Space Center
in Houston for interviews and medical tests before making a
final selection. NASA expects to introduce the new astronaut
candidates in the summer of 2021.
“We’ve entered a bold new era of space exploration with the
Artemis program, and we are thrilled to see so many incredible
Americans apply to join us,” said NASA Administrator Jim
Bridenstine. “The next class of Artemis Generation astronauts
will help us explore more of the Moon than ever before and lead
us to the Red Planet.”
The application for the newest class of astronauts opened
March 2 and closed March 31. The number of people who applied to
be an astronaut represents the second-highest number of
applications NASA has ever received, surpassed only by the
record of 18,300 set by the most recent class of
astronauts who graduated in January.
For this round of applications, NASA increased the education
requirement for applicants from a bachelor’s degree to a
master’s degree in a science, technology, math, or engineering
field. In addition, the application period was shortened from
two months to one.
“We’re able to build such a strong astronaut corps at NASA
because we have such a strong pool of applicants to choose
from,” said Anne Roemer, manager of the Astronaut Selection
Board and director of human resources at Johnson. “It’s always
amazing to see the diversity of education, experience and skills
that are represented in our applicants. We are excited to start
reviewing astronaut applications to identify the next class of
Since the 1960s, NASA has selected 350 people to train as
astronaut candidates for its increasingly challenging missions
to explore space. With 48 astronauts in the
active astronaut corps, more will be needed to serve as crew
aboard spacecraft bound for multiple destinations and propel
exploration forward as part of Artemis missions and beyond.
Once selected, the astronaut candidates will go through
approximately two years of initial skills training, such as
spacewalking, robotics, and spacecraft systems, as well as
expeditionary behavior skills, such as leadership,
followership, and teamwork. After completing training, the new
astronauts could launch on American rockets and spacecraft --
developed for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program -- to live and work
International Space Station, 250 miles above Earth. There
they will take part in experiments that benefit life at home and
prepare us for the Moon and Mars.
This new class also may launch aboard NASA’s powerful new
Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft for Artemis
missions to the Moon. Beginning in 2024, NASA will send the
first woman and next man to the lunar surface and will establish
sustainable lunar exploration by 2028. Gaining insights from new
experiences on and around the Moon will prepare NASA to send the
first humans to Mars in the 2030s.
'VIRTUAL TESTING' DAWNS FOR LICENSES AMID PANDEMIC
JIM/ANCHOR: We begin this week with another story of triumph for
amateur radio ingenuity: If taking your license exam seems like
a remote possibility right now, you should know that - well - it
is! With the approval of the FCC, the first Technician class
license exam during the pandemic lockdown took place in the
United States on March 26 -- remotely. It was conducted online
in a "virtual" test environment. Ralph Squillace KK6ITB gives us
RALPH: Joseph Talbot of Nevada is now known
as KJ7NNU, all because he took and passed his Technician class
license exam on the 26th of March. The test was given with the
support of the W5YI Volunteer Examiner Coordinator in Arlington,
Texas. It took place in a remote online environment where
everyone was online - even the proctor who oversaw the test via
videoconferencing software. Joseph, who had held a license
before, learned one day later that he had qualified to become a
Technician once again. WA6VPS reported on Twitter that the trial
run was being considered a success and opened up the possibility
of others taking tests during this period of lockdown from the
global pandemic. He noted that remote testing has been permitted
since 2014. In fact, the Anchorage Amateur Radio Club's
Volunteer Examiners in Alaska have been conducting exams like
this but until now a proctor still had to be physically present.
Marcel Stieber AI6MS, a Volunteer Examiner who lives in
California, posted on Twitter on March 28 that the KJ7NNU
test-run gives other hams hope. He wrote [quote]: "Stay tuned.
We hope to have a scalable solution available for broader use
MENTORIING IN INDIA FOR HAM HOPEFULS
lockdown providing a convenient environment for learning about
ham radio, one ham in India has announced a mentoring program on
social media. John Williams VK4JJW has those details.
JOHN: It's not your typical way of calling QRZ but then the ham
radio operator putting out the call is in search of prospective
amateurs, youngsters who are curious about getting a licence.
Recognising that the public-health lockdown in India has left
young curious minds idle, Rajesh Vagadia VU2EXP, regional
coordinator of the West Zone of AMSAT-India, has been making
himself available as a mentor on social media. He has set up an
appointment schedule with specific hours and invited questions
over his WhatsApp account. He said in a public posting that he
intends to provide this free service through to the 14th of
He writes: [quote] "Stay home. Be Safe. Learn
** ANSWERING THE QRZ OF A 'Z M'
CONTACT IN NEW ZEALAND
JIM/ANCHOR: Because extraordinary
circumstances inspire extraordinary measures, New Zealand hams
are now able to use an extraordinarily different call sign, as
we hear from Jim Meachen ZL2BHF.
JIM M: No, you're not
hearing things: If you're operating from New Zealand, Zed L has
just become Zed M - and for good reason. Radio Spectrum
Management has approved a request by the New Zealand Association
of Radio Transmitters to treat COVID-19 lockdown as a special
event which, of course, would warrant a special prefix.
According to Infoline, the association's newsletter, the purpose
of the change is to make New Zealand Amateurs a bit more
prominent on the air and to make the world more aware of New
Zealand in general. Yes, it's also a little extra touch to help
everyone relieve the boredom that sometimes comes with having to
stay in the same spot twenty-four/seven. The newsletter noted
that the alternate prefix was suggested by Paul ZL4TT - or is
So if you happen to be DXing and hear a New
Zealand amateur calling QRZ with a ZM prefix, you're not hearing
things. You've just copied one more New Zealand amateur who's
brightening things up a bit by changing things up a bit.
SEA-PAC CANCELLED IN OREGON
JIM: SEA-PAC 2020,
which was to have been held in Oregon in June, has been called
off. The cancellation of the event, which is also the ARRL
Northwestern Division Convention, is the result of concerns
stemming from the global pandemic. Organizers said it is being
done in the interest of the safety of conference attendees,
presenters and vendors. Gary Takis K7GJT said in an email that
the executive committee plans to refund convention fees and
focus instead on next year's event.
More details can be
found at seapac dot org (seapac.org).
WEEKEND ACCEPTING REGISTRATIONS FOR LATE-SUMMER EVENT
JIM/ANCHOR: The number of registrants continues to grow for the
late-summer event known as the International Lighthouse and
Lightship Weekend. Graham Kemp VK4BB has more on that story.
GRAHAM: If lighthouses function as beacons, then why not
think of them as beacons of hope? Organizers of the
International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend are reminding the
amateur radio community that the event in August is going ahead
irrespective of the COVID-19 pandemic. Individual participants
should take note of local COVID rulings at the time - which will
likely be different in the over 40 countries across the world
which are taking part.
The event is set for the 22nd and
23rd of August and so far 138 entries have been registered. Hams
are being encouraged to find a lighthouse to activate and make
their plans if they are comfortable doing so and if local
government regulations and park closures do not preclude such
activity. Visit the website illw dot net (illw.net) to find a
** MARKING WORLD AMATEUR RADIO DAY,
EVEN WITHOUT HF
JIM/ANCHOR: Now more than ever it's
important to celebrate amateur radio. Stephen Kinford N8WB
shares two ways to do it even if you don't have access to HF.
STEPHEN: Get ready for World Amateur Radio Day, which marks
the 95th year since the founding of the International Amateur
Radio Union. There will be plenty of action for hams who use
EchoLink or IRLP as their main modes. This year is the fifth
year an international group of hams will be operating in a
12-hour net taking place on the EchoLink/VOIP system starting at
1600 UTC on April 18th on the DoDropIn Conference Server, Node
355800. The special event coordinator John DeRycke (Duh-Rye-Key)
W2JLD said there will be a special event QSL card along with a
certificate marking the net's fifth year of operation. Nine
control operators around the world will be helping makeso this
Elsewhere, be listening for the special event
call W7W on the World conference server IRLP 9251. Tom
Harrington AF7J told Newsline in an email that hams will be
calling QRZ starting at 1600 UTC. Check-ins will also be
possible on IRLP Node 9109 or Allstar 43609 and through
repeaters linked to those nodes. Commemorative certificates can
be emailed upon request. Paper QSLs can be requested through
AA7WB along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope.
SILENT KEY: FORMER DXCC ADMINISTRATOR DON SEARCH W3AZD
JIM/ANCHOR: A noted DXer and a former administrator of the
ARRL's DXCC desk has become a Silent Key. Jack Parker W8ISH
tells us about him.
JACK: Don Search, W3AZD, the longtime
administrator of the DXCC Desk for the ARRL, has become a Silent
Key. Don, who lived in Davie, Florida, died on March 26th at a
rehabilitation center where he was being cared for following a
fall on December 17th of last year. An astronomy enthusiast, Don
also belonged to various radio clubs over the years, including
the Gold Coast Amateur Radio Association, the South Florida DX
Association and the National Capitol DX Association outside
Washington, D.C., where he was among the original members. Don
was also a member of the Quarter Century Wireless Association.
He was perhaps best-known for his work with the ARRL's DXCC
desk, where he administered the award for 15 years. He was a
retired electronic technician for Burrows Communications in
Maryland. Writing an online tribute in a DX News forum, Rich
Boyd KE3Q said Don was [quote]: "a friend to so many of us, a
DXCC card checker, and longtime ARRL DXCC staffer, signer of our
DXCC certificates for so many years. His name and signature
grace the walls of, no doubt, thousands of hamshacks."
WORLD OF DX
In the world of DX, listen for Harm
PA0HPG, Michel PA0VCC, Ad PA2PCH, Nico PA3ADU and other
operators who will be activating special event station PA75ASN
until May 7th. The station commemorates the 75th anniversary of
the liberation of the city of Assen. Be listening on
80/60/40/30/20/17 and 15 meters where they are using CW, SSB and
FT8/FT4. Send QSLs to PA0VCC, direct or by the Bureau. NO eQSL.
In the Czech Republic, members of the Czechoslovak DX Club
OK2KDX are active as OL30DXC until the end of the year. They are
celebrating the club's 30th anniversary. Be listening on various
HF and VHF bands where they are using CW, SSB, FM and the
Digital modes. QSL to OK2PXJ.
Members of the Tango Alpha
Ham Radio Club YM1KE in Turkey are using the special event
callsign TC1STAYHOME to increase awareness for safety during the
current COVID-19 pandemic. The special event will continue
through the 5th of May. In a posting in the Ohio Penn DX
Newsletter the operators said they hope the pandemic will have
ended by the time the station goes QRT. For QSL information
** KICKER: APRIL FOOL'S - IT'S PIERRE
JIM/ANCHOR: In case you were wondering where
the one Newsline reporter who works one day a year - on April
Fool's Day - has been -- well, he's right here. Pierre
Pullinmyleg is a little late for work this year but he's got a
blockbuster of a story, as he always does, on which to end this
week's newscast. Pierre?
PIERRE: So you missed me,
n'est-ce-pas? You thought Pierre Pullinmyleg had missed his
April Fool's Day report? Mais non!! Pierre, he is no fool! I
have been busy, so very busy reporting an exclusive for Newsline
listeners: It is zee next great amateur radio contest and unlike
any other before. It is zee QRP-P-P-P-P-P-P-P-P-P-P-P-P-P (well
you get zee idea) contest. All this nonsense about zee
amplifiers and zee big directional beams. HAH! Not needed here.
Zis contest is so low power you can only have a QSO with
yourself! And only if conditions, zay are perfect. <mwah!!> I
personally will be operating with 1 nanowatt from a rig zee size
of a walnut.....errr, I mean, if I can get zis rig back from zee
In ziss contest you must log and confirm all
QSOs -- zay are always with yourself and always a 5 and 9, mes
amis! Zere will be a special certificate zee size of a postage
stamp - and you must download ONLY using a modem at 14.4 kilobit
speed. Can you stand the excitement?
Pierre Pullinmyleg! In fact I am so excited I could just
FRIDAY EDITION: Yet another 50 mph gusty
wind night and day here on the island, the ocean surf on the
beach is wild..3928 was interesting yesterday afternoon, if you
can imagine someone asking for an audio check from a group of
60-80 year old half deaf hams (some alcohol impaired) all with
totally subjective thoughts on what "good " audio is. If you are
running a kilowatt into a good antenna and talking to guys
all within 75 miles of each other on 75 meters in the afternoon,
an audio box doesn't make a shit load of difference.I would say
that Mud Duck still rules the roost as the most over processed,
loud and wide audio signal on 3928...That said, 3928 is the pick
of the week for easy listening...
Coronavirus: Some radio hams permitted STAYHOME call suffix
ARRL reports some countries around the world are allowing
radio amateurs to use special 'STAYHOME' call
The League says: For example, listen for 8A1STAYHOME from
Indonesia, and A60STAYHOME/# call signs from the United Arab
In Canada, Michael Shamash, VE2MXU, is using
VC2STAYHOM “to raise awareness for social distancing during the
COVID-19 pandemic.” Canada limits call sign suffixes to
Australia has permitted the Radio
Amateur Society of Australia (RASA) to use the special call sign
AX2020STAYHOME. At 14 characters, that may set a record for
world’s longest call sign.
Also look for 9K9STAYHOME from the Kuwait Amateur Radio
Society; TC1STAYHOME, the COVID-19 special event call sign from
Turkey, and HZ1STAYHOME from the Saudi Amateur Radio Society.
The Saudi Amateur Radio Association announced a prize would
be awarded for the first 50 MHz band voice contact starting
Thursday, April 2 at 1:00 pm, Mecca time. Those claiming the
prize had to send in a video recording, see
Amateurs in Saudi Arabia are limited to 50 watts on
frequencies above 30 MHz. You can download the license documents
in English from the following page, there is no need to login.
At yet the Technical Conditions PDF has not been updated to show
the new band
Coronavirus discussion on Uckfield FM breaks
Ofcom has today imposed a sanction on the Sussex-based
community radio station Uckfield FM, after
a discussion on the programme about the causes and origins
of Covid-19 broke our broadcasting rules.
Our investigation found that a interviewee, introduced to
listeners as a registered nurse, expressed scientifically
unfounded views that the Coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan,
China was linked to the rollout of 5G technology.
The interviewee also suggested to listeners that they
were being misled about the Coronavirus, which had the
potential to undermine listeners’ trust in the advice and
instructions of public authorities. These claims were not
sufficiently challenged by the presenter.
Given these serious failings, we concluded that Uckfield
FM did not provide adequate protection for listeners from
the potentially harmful material in this programme, and that
a statutory sanction is warranted.
As a result, Uckfield FM must broadcast a summary of this
breach on a date and form to be decided by Ofcom.
Spain Grants Unlicensed Individuals Permission to Use
Amateur Stations During Lockdown
Spain’s International Amateur Radio Union (IARU)
member-society URE has obtained
temporary permission from the country’s
telecommunications regulator for unlicensed people to use
amateur stations during the coronavirus lockdown.
“The main objective of the request is to
disseminate and promote amateur radio among schoolchildren
who must be confined at home,” the announcement from the
Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Infrastructure
said. “This activity offers young people the opportunity to
gain practical experience in telecommunications technology,
promotes education in technological subjects, and is a
socially enriching family activity.”
The temporary authorization would be in place while the
state of alert and mandatory confinement measures are in
effect in Spain. Non-licensed individuals could operate an
amateur station only under the direct supervision of the
licensee, under current amateur radio rules and regulations.
THURSDAY EDITION: I broke down and had
groceries delivered here yesterday using the Instacart online
service with Shaw's. It is more expensive but worth every penny.
My XYL has a very compromised immunity system and I am older
than dirt...so I am in quarantine here with ham radio as an
outlet and facetime with my kids...Here we go again, 40-60 mph
hour winds and 1.5 inches of rain predicted tomorrow...this will
be the fifteenth storm this year with extreme winds.
SolderSmoke Podcast 220 available
Bill Meara M0HBR / N2CQR has released
another edition of the amateur radio SolderSmoke podcast
Built by popular demand, the DX Engineering Ladder Line Surge
For many years, hams have asked us for a
surge protector for use with their 300 ohm and 450 ohm ladder
line fed antennas. Decades ago automotive spark plugs or arc
gaps were used for shunting lightning pulses from balanced
feeders to ground. But, you never really knew if they were going
to work, were continuing to work or if they were affecting the
Here is the modern approach to providing
surge protection for ladder line fed antennas. Made with
components similar to those used in coaxial protectors, the
DXE-LLSP uses much larger capacitors, resistors and gas
discharge tubes on each leg of the ladder line to offer
excellent surge protection capabilities at high SWR. These
components are rated to handle 5 kW, so this protector will
easily handle well over legal limit RF power at the high
standing wave ratios expected on balanced line. Plus, the Ladder
Line Surge Protector bleeds off the static charge that is
collected on your antenna from wind driven sand, rain and snow!
The DXE-LLSP Ladder Line Surge Protector
is built to sustain multiple minor surges. As with any surge
protector, there is no guarantee that a direct hit from
lightning will be stopped. A replacement parts kit is also
available to refurbish your pulse damaged protector: DXE-LLSP-RP
Features of the DX Engineering
Ladder Line Surge Protector: • Standard size NEMA enclosure; 4 x 4
x 2 in. nominal box dimensions; mounting tab holes on centers:
4.625 x 2.125 in. • Works with 450 ohm or 300 ohm
Ladder Line and 600 ohm open-wire feeder • Internal Gas Discharge Tubes,
Capacitors and Resistors • Can withstand multiple minor surges
and shunts them to ground • Bleeds off static charge collected
from wind driven snow, rain and sand • Weep holes allow any buildup of
internal moisture to drain out • Handles well over legal limit at
high SWR as expected on balanced line
FCC Settles with Massachusetts Pirate
After filing a civil action and
seeking an injunction to stop a church-related pirate radio
station from operating in Worcester, Massachusetts, the US
Attorney’s Office this week reached a settlement with the
station’s operators, Vasco Oburoni and Christian Praise
International Church. US Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and FCC
Enforcement Bureau Chief Rosemary Harold announced the
settlement on June 10. Oburoni and the church admitted that
they had operated an FM broadcast station without a license.
According to a consent decree filed on June 10 and subject
to court approval, Oburoni and Christian Praise
International Church agree not to do so in the future. They
also agreed to surrender all of their broadcasting
“In the event the FCC reasonably
suspects that they have violated the Act, the FCC may
inspect the premises and seize any broadcasting equipment,”
an FCC news release said. If the FCC determines that “the
defendants” have operated an unlicensed broadcasting station
in violation of the settlement, they will be subject to a
$75,000 fine. The FCC received complaints, including one
from a licensed broadcaster, that the pirate station was
According to the signed consent
decree, Vasco Oburoni and Christian Praise International
Church admitted that they operated a radio broadcast station
in Worcester, on 97.1 MHz, without an FCC license and
previously had operated an unlicensed radio station on 102.3
MHz. The FCC had issued multiple warnings and issued a Forfeiture
Order in the amount of $15,000 against Oburoni. The FCC
said Oburoni agreed to a payment plan but later began
broadcasting again without a license on a different
Coronavirus: Call to dust off amateur radios and get talking
in East Lancs
The Lancashire Telegraph interviews Nick Isherwood
2E0NJI about the role of amateur radio and RAYNET East
Lancashire during the Coronavirus outbreak
says: A CALL out has been made for residents to dust off
their old ham radios in a bid to tackle lockdown loneliness and
to potentially play a key role in the battle to prevent
Nick Isherwood, who is the group
controller of RAYNET East Lancashire, is hoping to hold
bi-weekly 'gatherings' of amateur radio operators in the region
to ensure people with access to the technology – who can often
be isolated – are not in need of any help.
can also see the 15-strong members of RAYNET East Lancashire,
which is affiliated to RAYNET-UK and one of four groups covering
the whole of the county, being asked to fulfill a communication
or co-ordination role as community groups spring up across the
county to help assist the Lancashire Resilience Forum (LRF) in
the battle to contain the coronavirus and prevent unnecessary
WEDNESDAY EDITION: April Fool's Day has been
cancelled this year, there is nothing funny to joke about....One
of the highest Corona Positive case cities in NH is Salem- home
of our beloved HRO. be safe up there guys...A Maryland winery is
observing social distancing protocol in its curbside deliveries
with an unusual employee --
a delivery dog...What would we do
without knuckleheads like this in the world attacking issues
of importance for man and society?....New Icom 705 delivery date
being extended out due to lack of needed parts for assembly...
Ham Radio Test Online – USA conducts first online
ham radio exam – special thanks to W5YI for supporting this
USA Amateur Radio Direction Finding Championships Canceled
The ARRL ARDF Committee has made the difficult decision
to cancel the 20th USA ARDF Championships, which were set to
be held this summer.
Contact the ARRL ARDF Committee for more
information on ARDF and on attending, participating in, or
hosting ARDF competitions. ARDF participants do not need an
amateur radio license. For more information on Amateur Radio
Direction Finding, visit the Homing In website of Joe Moell, K0OV. —
Thanks to USA ARDF Co-Coordinator Charles Scharlau, NZ0I
Amateur Radio Satellite Spreads Fight Coronavirus Message
Indonesia’s International Amateur Radio Union
ORARI reports the ham radio satellite LAPAN-A2
(IO-86) is being used to transmit a “fight coronavirus”
message via APRS. The satellite’s text message is, “Stay
Healthy, Stay at Home #LawanCorona (Fight Coronavirus).”
Sonny Dwi Harsono, YD1SCC, a researcher the Center for
Satellite Technology Development, has explained that
including the APRS text message was a form of support for
government policies on social distancing in Indonesia.
To date, the message has been received by dozens of ORARI
members throughout Indonesia, Harsono said.
Eventually, he said, plans call for trying to distribute
the message via IO-86 every 100 minutes under certain
conditions. Technical details are being worked out. Harsono
pointed out that government messages about COVID-19 could
also be transmitted via the satellite. — Thanks to
AMSAT News Service via AMSAT-UK
NASA adds Shannon Walker to first operational crewed SpaceX
NASA has assigned astronaut Shannon Walker, KD5DXB
to the first operational crewed flight of the SpaceX
Crew Dragon spacecraft on a mission to the
International Space Station.
Walker will join NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins,
KF5LJG and Victor Glover Jr., as well as Soichi Noguchi
of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), for a
six-month expedition aboard the unique space laboratory.
This mission will be the first in a series of regular,
rotational flights to the station following NASA’s certification
of the new crewed system following completion and validation of
SpaceX’s test flight with astronauts, known as Demo-2. This test
is expected to take place in mid-to-late May as part of NASA’s
Commercial Crew Program.
Pending the successful Demo-2 test, Walker, Glover, Hopkins,
and Noguchi will launch aboard Crew Dragon on SpaceX’s Falcon 9
rocket from Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in
Florida. That launch is targeted for later this year.
Walker looking out of the international space station's cupola
at the Caribbean view beneath on November 25, 2010. Credits:
Walker was born in Houston and began her career at NASA’s
Johnson Space Center in Houston in 1987 as a robotics flight
controller for the space shuttle with Rockwell Space Operations
Co. She became a NASA employee in 1995, working on robotics and
avionics hardware for the station with the program’s
international partners. She also coordinated on-orbit problem
resolution in the Mission Evaluation Room at Johnson and in
Moscow and served as acting manager of the On-Orbit Engineering
Office before NASA selected her for the 2004 astronaut class. As
an astronaut, she spent 163 days as a flight engineer aboard the
space station for Expeditions 24 and 25 in 2010. Walker earned a
bachelor’s degree in physics and a master’s and doctorate in
space physics, all from Rice University in Houston.
NASA already assigned Glover and Hopkins to the first
operation SpaceX crewed mission in August 2018. This will be the
first spaceflight for Glover and the second for Hopkins, who
lived aboard the space station from September 2013 to March 2014
as part of Expeditions 37 and 38.
It will be the third spaceflight for Noguchi, who was a space
shuttle crew member on the STS-114 mission in 2005 and a space
station crew member from December 2009 to June 2010 as part of
Expeditions 22 and 23.
NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is working with the American
aerospace industry as companies develop and operate a new
generation of spacecraft and launch systems capable of carrying
crews to low-Earth orbit and to the space station. Commercial
transportation to and from the station will provide expanded
utility, additional research time and broader opportunities for
discovery on the orbital outpost.
The station is a critical testbed for NASA to understand and
overcome the challenges of long-duration spaceflight. As
commercial companies focus on providing human transportation
services to and from low-Earth orbit, NASA is free to focus on
building spacecraft and rockets for deep space missions.
Tom Morgan is using the call ZT1T
for the period of the 'lockdown' in South Africa. This period
also covered the recent SSB WPX Contest.
All contacts are uploaded to LOTW.
Tom asks that any qsl card requests (see QRZ.com) are held
until mail systems in South Africa and the Rest of the World are
back to normal.
Keep safe out there.
TUESDAY EDITION: Another Corona free day, thankfully
....Dr Daniel Reardon got
four magnets stuck up his nostrils while experimenting with
them at home last week as he tried to come up with a way to stop
people touching their faces.....
International Marconi Day 2020 cancelled
The ARRL reports International Marconi Day 2020,
planned for Saturday, April 25, has been cancelled
annual International Marconi Day (IMD) ham radio operating event
that was set to take place on April 25 has been canceled because
of the coronavirus pandemic. The 24-hour amateur radio event
celebrates the birth of Marconi on April 25, 1874.
Sponsored by the Cornish Radio Amateur Club, which operates as
GB4IMD, International Marconi Day features participating
stations operating at sites having a personal connection to
Marconi, including places where he set up transmitting and
The Australian researcher had been
trying to create a magnetic necklace that activated an alarm if
users brought it too close to their face.
Amazon fired an employee who helped organize a walkout at
one of its fulfillment centers over the company’s response to
the ongoing coronavirus pandemic on Monday.
Chris Smalls, the employee who helped organize the
demonstration, said he felt Amazon had failed to enact adequate
measures to protect workers at the facility as many Americans
turn to online shopping as stay-at-home mandates expand around
the country. Smalls was one of a small group who walked out at a
fulfillment center on Staten Island, demanding the company close
the site and sanitize it before reopening. He said Amazon had
notified employees at the warehouse of one confirmed case of the
virus but claimed there were several others that hadn’t yet been
Shortly after the strike, Smalls was terminated after working
at Amazon for five years.
“Amazon would rather fire workers than face up to its total
failure to do what it should to keep us, our families, and our
communities safe,” Smalls said in a statement obtained by
HuffPost. “I am outraged and disappointed, but I’m not shocked.
As usual, Amazon would rather sweep a problem under the rug than
act to keep workers and working communities safe.”
FCC Grants Temporary Emergency Authority to WISPs Operating
in 5.8 GHz Ban
The FCC has
granted temporary permission to
wireless internet service providers (WISPs) in rural
portions of 29 states and the US Virgin Islands to operate
in the 5.8 GHz band (5.850 – 5.895 GHz). The authorization,
to help meet the temporary surge in demand for residential
fixed broadband services during the COVID-19 pandemic, was
one of multiple waivers issued in the past week that grant
temporary access to a variety of bands in response to the
uptick in residential broadband demand.
The 5.8-GHz grants were effective on March 26.Each grant is for 60 days, provided individual WISPs
file STA applications within 10 days of March 26. Amateur
Radio shares this spectrum on a secondary basis with
Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) systems and
industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) applications, and
that status remains unchanged.
“[E]ach applicant is independently responsible for
complying with the conditions of its grant,” the FCC’s Keith
D. Harper, Associate Chief of the Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau Mobility Division wrote in
granting the request. “Applicants are advised that this
includes ensuring proper protection of incumbents in the 5.8
GHz band.” The Commission noted that WISPs are responsible
for ensuring that they do not cause interference to existing
According to the request, each of the WISPs provides
fixed wireless broadband service in rural areas, primarily
relying on unlicensed spectrum for last-mile connections to
end users. “Many of the WISPs’ customers have no other
alternative to terrestrial broadband services,” the request
Commenting earlier this month in response to an FCC
Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) in WT
Docket 19-138 — in which the FCC said it would “take a fresh
and comprehensive look” at the rules for the 5.8 GHz band —
ARRL called the FCC’s attention to the widespread use of the
5.8 GHz band for amateur mesh and amateur television
networks, as well as links that radio amateurs have
engineered into the band on a non-interference secondary
basis “and which often are used directly for public service
purposes when there are no other facilities available.”
The Commission’s emergency grant explicitly requires that
the WISP operations be conducted on a non-interference
basis. If unexpected interference within this spectrum range
is experienced, radio amateurs should consult Attachment
1 of the grant and contact the WISP
indicated at the address and email address provided.
Coronavirus: Spain grants special authorization to radio
Spain's national amateur radio society URE has talked to
their regulator and obtained permission for unlicensed
people to use amateur stations during the Coronavirus
A Google translation of part of the URE
After the publication of Royal
Decree 463/2020, of March 14, declaring the state of alarm
for the management of the situation of health crisis caused
by the coronavirus (COVID-19), for this purpose, and with
the In order to accompany radio amateurs in the exceptional
situation caused by the spread of COVID-19, the URE, in its
commitment to collaborate and help to cope with the
complicated situation we are currently experiencing in our
country, presented to the Secretary of State for
Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructures a request for
Today, the Secretary of State
for Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructures has
issued a resolution granting temporary authorization for the
use, under certain conditions, of radio amateur stations by
people who do not have the required administrative
authorization under the supervision of authorized radio
amateurs. , while the validity of the state of alarm and its
corresponding mandatory measures of confinement.
That the use of the aforementioned radio amateur stations
will be carried out under the responsibility and direct and
face-to-face supervision of the radio amateur and under the
conditions established in the Regulations for the use of the
radioelectric public domain by radio amateurs.
Radio Amateurs of Canada offers new Online Amateur Radio
In response to the current Covid-19 crisis, Radio
Amateurs of Canada is pleased to announce that it
is introducing two new online Amateur Radio courses so that
individuals can upgrade their qualifications while
continuing to practise social/physical distancing.
RAC Online Basic Amateur Radio Qualification
Course: The course offers an introduction into the
wonderful world of Amateur Radio nd prepares students for
their Basic Qualification Examination. It will be conducted
with the assistance of the Annapolis Valley Amateur Radio
Club (AVARC) of Nova Scotia.
RAC Maple Leaf Operator Online Advanced
Qualification Course: The course is an excellent
opportunity to upgrade your qualifications so that you will
be able to run higher power and to operate your own repeater
sites. The course is being offered at no charge to RAC Maple
Leaf Operator Members – both current and future – who
already have their Basic Amateur Radio Qualification.
RAC Online Basic Amateur Radio Qualification
This course prepares students for the Innovation, Science
and Economic Development Canada (ISED) Basic Qualification
Level Operator Certificate exam to operate on allocated
Amateur Radio frequencies.
The course will use the GoToMeeting web-based service and
will start on Thursday, April 16 and will finish in
mid-June. Classes will be held on Thursday evenings from 6
pm to 8:30 (1800 – 2030) Eastern Time (1900 – 2130 Atlantic
Time) and Sunday afternoons 1 pm to 3:30 pm (1300 – 1530)
Eastern Time (1400 – 1630 Atlantic Time).
The course instructor is Al Penney, VO1NO. Al was first
licensed in 1977 and has been active in many areas of
Amateur Radio including contesting, DXing, VHF/UHF weak
signal, satellites, emergency communications and
DXpeditioning. He has served as the President of six
different Amateur Radio clubs in both Canada and the United
States and currently chairs the International Amateur Radio
Union (IARU) Region 2 Band Planning Committee. Al has taught
the Basic Qualification Amateur Radio Course since 1994.
Cost: The registration fee for the
course is $50 plus GST/HST. The cost of the Basic Study
Guide is extra and an order link will be provided upon
completion of payment.
International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 62 crew is
readying its Soyuz MS-15 vehicle for an April 17
departure back to Earth. Expedition 62 members are NASA
Flight Engineer Jessica Meir; Flight Engineer Andrew Morgan,
KI5AAA, and Commander Oleg Skripochka, RA0LDJ. The
Expedition 63 crew members who are to replace them are
nearing an April 9 launch aboard the Soyuz MS-16
NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, KF5KDR, and Roscosmos
cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin, and Ivan Vagner arrived this
week at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for final
training. The Expedition 63 trio is scheduled to live aboard
the station for a little longer than 6 months, with Cassidy
as commander. Because of travel limitations due to the
COVID-19 pandemic, Cassidy’s family will watch from home
when he blasts off on April 9. Launch day at Baikonur is
usually a festive affair.
“But it’ll be completely quiet,” Cassidy said in a
Spaceflight Nowsatellite interview from Star City,
Russia. “There won’t be anybody there.” A NASA protocol has
long been in place to prevent astronauts from carrying
disease microbes into space. All astronauts going to orbit
must go through a 2-week “health stabilization” quarantine
period. This way, NASA can make sure the crew is not
incubating any illnesses before launch. NASA said it “will
continue to evaluate and augment this plan, in coordination
with its international and commercial partners,” if needed.
Russia’s state space corporation Roscosmos has shut down
all media activity surrounding the Soyuz launch,
barring journalists from covering the mission in person.
Russia will still live-stream the launch; NASA typically
carries all of its crewed launches online via its NASA TV
channel. The mid-April return of the Expedition 62 crew
would typically involve a large number of recovery
SpaceX will be ready to send its first crew of NASA
astronauts to the ISS aboard its Crew Dragon capsule
sometime in May. NASA has not said what might happen if
those operations should change in light of the pandemic.
— Thanks to AMSAT News Service
New England Hams
you might run across 75
Jon....Editor of As The World
Ari..Bought an amp and now we
can here him on 75 meters,
worships his wife, obsessed with
broadcast engineer, confused and
gullible, cheap, only uses
single ply toilet paper KB1OWO-
,only cuts lawn in August, plows
snow the rest in Jackman, Maine W1GEK-
Big Mike....Nearfest Cook, big
motor home, electronics software
engineer ... AA1SB-
Neil...Living large traveling
the country with his
girlfriend...loves CW N1YX-
Igor....peddles quality Russian
keys, software engineer K1BGH...Art.....Restores
cars and radio gear, nice fella... N1XW.....Mike-easy
going, Harley riding kind of
K1JEK-Joe...Easy going, can
be found at most ham flea market
...Cobra Antenna builder.. KA1GJU-
Kriss- Tower climbing pilot who
cooks on the side at
of the Hosstrader's original
organizers, 75 meter regular,
Tech Wizard!!! K1PV-
Roger....75 meter regular, easy
going guy... W1XER...Scott....easy
going guy, loves to split
cordwood and hunt... WS1D-
Warren- "Windy" - Bullnet KB1VX-
Barry- the picture says it all,
he loves food! KC1BBU-
Bob....the Mud Duck from the
Cape Cod Canal, making a lot of
Matthew...75 meter regular...our
token liberal Democrat out of VT KA1BXB-Don....75
meter Regular......residing on
the Cape of Cod, flying planes
and playing radio KMIG-Rick....75
Meter Regular....teaches the
future of mankind, it's scary! K1PEK-Steve..Founder
of Davis-RF....my best friend
from high school K9AEN-John...Easy
going ham found at all the ham
talented ham, loves his
politics, has designed gear for
W1KQ- Jim- Retired
Controller...told quite a few
pilots where to go! N1OOL-Jeff-
The 3936 master plumber and
Computer Tech of 3936...multi
talented kidney stone passing
K1BGH- Arthur, Cape Cod,
construction company/ice cream
shop, hard working man.... W1VAK-
Ed, Cape Cod, lots of experience
in all areas, once was a Jacques
Cousteus body guard.... K1BNH-
Bill- Used to work for a bottled
gas company-we think he has been
around nitrous oxide to long .
Linux....fine amateur radio op
....wealth of experience... Silent KeyVA2GJB-
Graham...one of the good 14313
guys back in the day.
Mort...Air Force man
Low key gent can be found on
many of the 75 meter
Mike, Antrim, NH, auto parts
going, computer parts selling,
New England Ham..
Silent Key W1OKQ-
Jack....3936 Wheeling and
Dealing......keeping the boys on
regular, wealth of electronic
Mack....DXCC Master, worked them
all!.. 3864 regular for many
Hu....SK at 92... 3864
regular for many years...
Silent Key N1SIE-
Dave....Loves to fly
Big Bob- Tallest ham, at 6'10",
of the 3864 group
Pilot, HRO Salesman, has owned
every radio ever built!
Dan....far from easy going cw
and ssb op on 14275/313
Loved ham radio....